Goethe-Institut delays Nakba event on Kristallnacht anniversary after criticism

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

After blistering criticism, Goethe-Institut Israel postpones it upcoming event, “Grasping the Pain of the Others – Panel discussion on the Holocaust, Nakba and German Remembrance Culture,” which was set to take place tomorrow on the 84th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

“The remembrance of the Shoah and the commemoration of the victims is a major concern of the Goethe-Institut, to which we devote ourselves in numerous projects,” says the institute in a German-language statement. “We regret that the choice of date for a panel discussion has currently caused irritation.”

The new date for the event in Tel Aviv is Sunday, November 13.

“The Goethe-Institut stands for understanding and dialogue,” the statement continues. “That is what the planned discussion is about.”

While delaying the event, the Goethe-Institut addressed only one component of the program for which it was panned. The Foreign Ministry and others blasted “the blatant cheapening of Holocaust and the cynical and manipulative attempt to create a linkage whose entire purpose is to defame Israel,” by discussing the Shoah and the Nakba — the Palestinians’ term for their defeat in 1948 during Israel’s War of independence — in the same breath.

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